Here's a list Sushi facts most folks aren't aware of.
Sushi technically refers to any dish that is made with vinegared rice. It does not have to contain fish, but most often does. Literally sushi means "sour tasting.
Sushi dates back to 7th century China
Sushi rice is the most important part of a sushi roll. Chefs in Japan spend years mastering this technique alone.
- Some say Sushi rice must be made with short grained rice, however, we've seen plenty of restaurants using medium grain.
- Once done cooking, sushi rice must be seasoned with a specific dressing of rice vinegar, sugar and salt. This is what enhances its stickiness Sushi rice must be properly cooled and handled with slightly damp fingers.
Most common sushi roll fillings include:
- Tuna - especially toro the fatty cut of tuna
Any type of spicy tuna, spicy crab, spicy salmon, spicy lobster salad, etc. is a combination of fish, Japanese mayonnaise and srircha. Careful with these, as they are often a way for sushi places to disguise fish that may not be of the best quality. There are different types of sushi rolls:
- Maki sushi: rice and other ingredients rolled together with a sheet of nori
- Futo maki: a thick rolled maki sushi containing multiple ingredients
- Hoso maki: thinly rolled maki sushi with only one ingredient
- Temaki: cone-shaped maki sushi
- Uramaki : an contemporary style of Maki sushi often referred to as an "inside out roll" cause it has rice on the outside. A benefit of this style is that it allows you to place ingredients, avocado or slices of fish, on top of the roll
Pieces of individual slices of fish on top of a small oval ball of rice is called nigiri
Most commonly sushi is wrapped in nori, dried seaweed from the red alga porphyra o Other types of wrappings include: rice paper, thinly sliced pieces of cucumber, and pieces of sashimi
Sushi is often topped with roe, which is a mass of fish eggs. There are different types of roe and these are most common:
- Ikura: Salmon roe y
- Kazunoko: Herring roe
- Masago: Smelt roe
- Mentaiko: Pollock roe
- Tarako: Alaska Pollock roe
- Tobiko: Flying Fish roe
The word sashimi means "pierced body".
While sashimi is a piece of fish served without rice, many people living outside of Japan use the terms "sashimi" and "sushi" interchangeably
Most commonly ordered types of sashimi are:
- Horse Mackerel
- Fatty Tuna
- Puffer Fish Takifugu
- Sea Urchin
Of the beaten bath......
According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Nearly half the fish eaten around the world are raised on fish farms as opposed to being caught in the wild.
Approximately 80% of the world's Bluefin tuna catch is used for sushi.
The highest price ever paid for a sushi grade Bluefin Tuna was a whopping $396,000 for a 754 pound fish, at an auction January 4th, 2011 at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. The lucky winners spent nearly $526 per pound on the giant tuna.
The practice of serving sushi in two pieces comes from the original edomae-zushi of the 1800's, the ancestor of today's nigirizushi. Originally, nigiri-zushi was one large square piece. Since it was sometimes difficult to eat, some people began cutting it down the center into 2 pieces. The custom of serving sushi today in a set of two comes from this practice.
Learn to Speak Japanese
Arigato - "Thank you"
Dozo - "Please"
Hai - "Yes"
Omakase - (pronounced "oh-mah-kah-seh") referrers to "Chef's choice". This style of dining offers the itamae (sushi chef) the choice of what to serve you based on what he feels best represents his skills and what is available at that time.
Maguro is blue fin tuna. Toro is the term for the fatty part of the tuna, found in the belly portion of the fish. Toro is broken into two catergories, Chutoro and Otoro! Chutoro is the belly area of the tuna along the side of the fish between the akami (the leaner meat from the sides of the fish) and the otoro. It is fatty but not as fatty as otoro. Otoro is the fattiest portion of the tuna, found on the very underside of the fish. This cut is fatty almost to the point of falling apart, it is the most desired part of the fish!